Embracing the Mundane to Make Running Success (or any Success) Possible

I am running a 100K through the Zion National Park, the wind blowing softly through my hair, my feet light as they float across the earth.  The sun gently warms my skin and all is right with the world.   Nary an issue with my stomach ever arises and I feel strong and powerful from start to finish.  I cross the finish line proud of my time and I look gorgeous, full of joy and vigor and glowing from within.  Not for a single moment did my depression wake up to say hello.  On this day, I was victorious and it took no effort to get there.  I simply woke up one day and did it.

Isn’t that a nice dream – to wake up and have such a perfect day?  But in truth, it is only a dream.  Nothing comes to us in life without any effort or work.  Greatness does not just happen no matter how much it may seem that way when we watch the lives of stars, elite athletes, the successful entrepreneaur.

People get caught up in the notion that those who accomplish great things do so effortlessly.  That elite runners do not suffer, that CEOs were born with large bank accounts, that best-selling authors just had a great idea.

None of this could be farther from the truth.

I examine my life and see that my own successes with running and health, along with everything else I am proud of, came with great effort.   I did not wake up to any of these successes.  In fact, I overcame great obstacles to achieve these successes and for that they are even sweeter.

And if I don’t continue to work hard to make greatness a part of my future, I will wake up one day and realize that I am no longer successful at achieving my dreams.

We are always in a constant state of moving forward toward or away from our goals, hopes, and dreams.  Each day the choices we make will move us down one path or another.  And it is embracing the daily mundane tasks that get us where we want to go.


Let me give you an example.  In February, I ran my first 50 mile race and it was a magical day.   How did I accomplish my Antelope Canyon 50 mile race? In the months leading up to the race:

  • I had to put on my running clothes, socks and shoes daily.
  • I had to get my water pack ready the night before a long run, filling it with water, making my Tailwind, sorting out my running route.
  • I had to open my door and put one foot in front of the other whether it felt good or not.
  • I had to sweat, then shower, then sweat again.
  • I had to wash my clothes, clean out my water bottles, go to the store to get Tailwind.
  • I had to……..the list could go on and on.

None of these activities are sexy.  They are mundane, everyday drudgery.  The truth is, I could not have run through Antelope Canyon or along the rim of Horseshoe Bend without doing each of these steps.  The photos we take, the memories we hold dear, they all tell the story of the beautiful moments.  But each of those beautiful moments is made up of months and years of the mundane.

It takes work to live my passion.  For a long time, those mundane tasks would cause me such great stress.  I spent a lot of time wondering how I could get more time on the trails and hating that I had to do these tasks that I thought kept me from the trails.  It dawned on me finally that to achieve the greatness I desire so much, the mundane tasks are critical and without them, I will never make it to the trails or anywhere for that matter.

Embracing those mundane tasks has given me great freedom from a lot of the stressors of life.  I still slip into the mindset that these are boring and worthless and take up valuable time.  But more often than not, when washing towels, or cutting vegetables, I am able to remind myself that these tasks are a mountain that is worth climbing to get me where I want to be.

With a better mindset surrounding the mundane, I am far more capable of making that dream of my beautiful effortless 100K a reality.  And while running has taught me this lesson, it is a lesson that carries through every single other part of my life.

The journey continues……



3 Comments on “Embracing the Mundane to Make Running Success (or any Success) Possible

  1. Pingback: Zion 100K….The Next Great Adventure – Embrace Delicate ~ Get Dirty

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